By Paul Magno | April 14, 2023

When describing Tyson Fury and the veracity of his words, I once wrote the following:

“I don’t believe a word that comes from Tyson Fury’s mouth. I’ve been around enough hustlers and con men to sniff a load of BS from a mile away. If ‘The Gypsy King’ told me that my hair was on fire, I’d run to grab a mirror before running for water.”

In my way of seeing things, by the way, that’s not necessarily a knock on the WBC heavyweight champ. There’s a certain nobility to the art of the hustle and con, especially in the world of boxing. What it does mean, though, is that you can’t really take the man at his word and you most assuredly can’t formulate any sort of informed opinion on any Tyson Fury business based purely on his public statements regarding the matter.

No active fighter has as long a history of fantastical, unprovable assertions and flat-out lies as the big Irishman. Some are innocuous enough, like his claim that he masturbates seven times a day to “keep testosterone pumping” or that he strengthens his chin by regularly performing cunnilingus. Some are significantly less harmless, such as his assertion that his 2015 failed PEDs test and the presence of the banned substance nandrolone in his system was due to his consumption of uncastrated wild boar (not to mention the wild ride forced on the poor 70-year-old pig farmer who Team Tyson allegedly recruited to cover for him). 

Then there’s all that stuff about Fury donating his purses to the homeless, which the media never bothered to follow up on or confirm in any way. Most likely, they just assumed he was lying. And, yeah, that would’ve been a safe assumption about the guy who once claimed he had personally lined up MMA training plans with Conor McGregor, only for McGregor to reveal shortly thereafter that he had never spoken with Fury in his life. 

There’s really, really a lot of mistruth and half-truth all throughout Fury’s pubic life, way too much to mention in one article. From misrepresenting the penalty (by at least four times) from Team Deontay Wilder for not taking their third fight to the dubious laying down of curious contract signing deadlines with specified fighters to the constant flow of retirements, un-retirements, re-retirements, and re-un-retirements-- the man has clearly established the fact that he likes to talk and that he’s not particularly shy about bending the truth to serve his needs. I’m not even going to get into that floppy glove conspiracy stuff, but you can definitely see where someone might think that Tyson Fury would be capable of such a thing.

One can also see, given Fury’s history, where the reasonable non-fanboy might take Oleksandr Usyk’s side in the recent he-said/he-said squabble that cockblocked the proposed 4-belt heavyweight title unification. 

What we know from the public goings on is that Usyk met Fury’s social media demand of a 70-30 split in Fury’s favor. Then, Fury seemed to want to derail talks again over Usyk’s supposed demand of a rematch clause, which was later revealed to be Team Fury’s idea. And, finally, the bout was killed once and for all over an inability to reach a deal regarding the revenue split for said rematch. And all through this run of social media nonsense negotiating, Fury screamed, carried on, and hurled insults at Usyk and his team, with Fury looking more and more like a mental patient as the facts started to line up implicating him as the main holdup in getting things put together. 

As I’ve said many times before, though, the only ones who REALLY know what went down in negotiations are those who were directly involved in the talks. So, don’t accept my take on what I’ve seen any more than the takes of the social media experts who can’t shut up about things they don’t really know. However, Fury was the one lighting up social media with his wordage and that kind of forced Usyk and his promoter Alexander Krassyuk to fire back. The back-and-forth gave us a clearer idea of what was going on behind closed doors than what is usually the case in big fight negotiations. 

And, again, there is definitely a precedent for Fury not adhering to the literal meaning of what he literally says. 

Tyson Fury is a hustler, folks. If you want to be nasty, you’d call him a con man. If you want to be diplomatic, you’d call him a huckster. But the “Gypsy King” will always be spinning and spinning reality to meet his needs. 

This personality quirk is most definitely not foreign to the business in which he works. Some may argue that it’s probably a necessity to a certain degree. 

None of this is to say that Fury isn’t an excellent heavyweight fighter and, rightfully, the no. 1 ranked big man in the world at the moment. It’s just that you’d be wise not to believe a word coming from his gigantic mouth.

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